The TBT is something you should be interested in.

How are you, rail riders? You OK? If you’re not, I got your back. I’m here with a ridiculously detailed deep dive of an upcoming hoops tourney which will soothe our sports fan souls. As the country enters stage two of the reopening process, I felt it was time to get the caboose back chuggin’ along via this preview/sales pitch for the TBT aka “The Basketball Tournament.” I’m not going to spend much time talking about anything other than my favorite non-mainstream sporting event ever, but I am going to say a few things to set the record straight:

1. Black Lives Matter. Please feel free to fuck right off if you fly confederate flags, say “all lives matter,” attend Trump rallies in the face of a pandemic-level virus, and think the cops treat everyone equally.

2. The NBA should not finish the season with a silly format, no fans, and no travel. This structure could/would potentially toy with the record books, realign the league’s historical integrity, and disrupt the modern day organizational structure/balance of power permanently. For once I’m in complete agreement with three dudes I don’t like very much – Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard, and Billy Bob’s small friend from “Bad Santa” (aka Avery Bradley).

AVERY?!? DID YOU GET THE LOOFA?

Forget basketball for a second – the time and energy of NBA players is invaluable in other capacities right now. It is immeasurably impactful when applied to the fight for equal rights through non-stop social justice advocacy. Looking at the NBA’s Orlando “bubble” concept as anything other than a distraction, a health risk, or a cash grab would be incompetent and tone deaf. Two players from the odds-on favorites in Vegas are adamantly against playing – that’s all you need to comprehend to get on my level.

3. If you want basketball, PBM’s got just the thing to satisfy your cravings. If you haven’t watched the summertime, single-elimination TBT than you’ve been missing the fuck out, family. It won’t be the same as year’s past when it kicks off in less than two weeks, but it’s got enough March Madness nostalgia and enough top notch hooping ability to satisfy any basketball fan who is feening for competitive ball. Here’s a crash course preview of this year’s participants and a predictive breakdown of the bracket:

TWO MASSIVE SNUBS, BUT SOLID ALL THE SAME.

For the most past, teams in this tourney are made up of alumni from one school (with a ringer or two), alumni from specific conferences, or they’re occasionally built from scratch by enterprising GM’s. Last year marked the fifth time a million bucks or more went in the winning team’s pockets. The #1 seed this year, Carmen’s Crew, won two million bucks a summer ago. When they hoisted the check after the finals, it was the first time anyone had beaten the defending four-time champions and this year’s #2 seed, Overseas Elite. I’ll fill you in on each team’s roster shortly. I need to inform you about the Elam Ending – it’s how this tourney decides who wins and who goes home.

Did you like the NBA All Star game this year? Pretty fuckin’ dope fourth quarter, right? The notion of playing to a score instead of playing for a set period of time adds excitement and intensity in spades. Guess what? They stole this idea from the TBT. The Elam Ending sets a target score, based on the total points of the game’s leading team, and the winner is the team who reaches that number first. Here’s an example of how a ton of games end:

Way better than foul-chuck-foul-chuck-foul, right? It makes every game at least slightly enjoyable. Without further adieu, let’s breakdown the bracket and make some predictions. Here are the eight teams receiving a first round bye:

#1 Seed: Carmen’s Crew: This a team made up of almost every non-NBA or NBA coffee cup sippers who played for the Ohio St. Buckeyes in recent years. They’re even coached by their own – Evan Turner led them to a tourney title last year and this year Jared Sullinger has the whistle. If you’re underwhelmed by their notable players, try not to be. This group did the impossible and beat an undefeated, four-time champion last year. Enough said.

  • Noteworthy Buckeye Alums: Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale
  • Ringers: Demetri McCamey (Illini traitor), Pape Malik Dime (Washington)
  • Plays winner the winner House of Paign/War Tampa

#2 Seed: Overseas Elite: The Gods of this universe have OE on their chest – these dudes are without a doubt the favorites to reclaim their spot at the top of the mountain this summer. They brought in the biggest newcomer of the tournament in addition to keeping their St. John’s fueled, long standing core intact. The Johnnie’s core is made up of DJ Kennedy (tourney MVP for their wins), Paris Horne, and Justin Burrell. They’re the equivalent of the Splash Bros. + Draymond. Who is the FA playing the role of KD in this compassion? Iso fuckin’ Joe. Joe Johnson is running with the champs and the rest of the bracket should be petrified.

  • Returning players: D.J. Kennedy, Paris Horne, Justin Burell (all St. John’s alums), DeAndre Kane (Iowa St.), Bobby Brown (Drew league standout and former Houston Rocket)
  • Noteworthy additions: Joe Johnson, Pooh Jeter (Drew league standout with handles for days)
  • Plays winner of Armored Athlete/Power of the Paw

#3 Seed: Boeheim’s Army: Jim Boeheim murdered a man with his personal vehicle. You know this, right? It makes sense for a murderous driver to field a team of soldiers who march to his insanely consistent commands. The zone is dead, Jim. Just like the guy on the side of the road in upstate NY whom you hit with your car. This army has no mercenaries – it’s all Cuse alums. They’re also seeded WAY too high.

  • Notable players: Eric Devendorf, Brandon Triche, Donte Greene, Malachi Richardson, Chris McCollough
  • Play the winner of HEARTFIRE/Men of Mackey

#4 Seed: Golden Eagles: This group of Marquette alumni have become a fixture at the TBT. They’ve also won quite a few games – I’m pretty sure they’re a finalist and a multi-time final four participant. Built with dudes who played extensive pro ball all over the world and a few who with NBA chops, these guys are no joke.

  • Notable alumi players: Travis Diener, Dwight Buycks, Mo Acker, Jamil Wilson, Darius Johnson-Odom, Andrew Rowsey
  • Ringer: Elgin Cook (Oregon)
  • Play the winner of Team CP3/Mid-American Unity

#5 Seed: Eberlein Drive: This is one of those teams built by an enterprising GM – Eberlein Drive has been a consistent presence in TBT’s since the early days and rarely show up with the same squad of the prior year. Cal’s Jerome Randle led them to the Finals one year, but they’ve had minimal success in their other years. This team is boom or bust deluxe.

  • Notable players: Dusty Hannahs (Arkansas), J.P. Macura (Xavier, Cleveland Cavaliers), Tim Quarterman and Johnny O’Bryant (LSU)
  • Play the winner of Brotherly Love/Stillwater Stars

#6 Seed: Team Challenge ALS: Perennial contenders in this tourney, Team Challenge ALS was built by BC alum Sean Marshall and the late Pete Fraites of Barstoolsports.com fame. They’ve too have been a runner-up to OE, but haven’t been on a run for a few years now.

  • Notable players: Sean Marshall and Tyrese Rice (BC), Casper Ware (Drew League LEGEND), several San Diego St. alums
  • Player winner of Team Hines/Sideline Cancer

#7 Seed: The Money Team (TMT): Not sure if this team’s management has been in a TBT before, but a bunch of these players have TBT experience (and tons of additional high-level pro balling to go with it). I like this team A LOT. I also think Floyd Mayweather funds it or is involved in another capacity…hence the unoriginal name.

  • Notable players: Tony Wroten (Washington, NBA), Willie Reed (SLU, NBA), Austin Daye (Gonzaga, NBA), Trevor MBakwe (Minnesota), Jordon Crawford and Jeff Ledbetter (TBT stars from Jimmer Fredette’s squad a year or two ago)
  • Plays winner of Jimmy V/Herd That

#8 Seed: Red Scare: Dayton alums from the 2014 Elite Eight are mixed with a couple of Obi Toppin’s running mates from last year and one nasty ringer in Louisville’s Ryan McMahon. One of the four/five favorites to take the crown.

  • Notable alumni players: Devin Oliver, Ryan Mikesell, and Trey Landers
  • Ringer: Ryan McMahon (Louisville)
  • Plays winner of Big X/Jackson TN Underdogs

Got all that, rail riders? It is time to breakdown the first round matchups and the rest of the action set to follow them – intrigue is everywhere in these games, children. The winners’ names are in Italics.

#9 Big XVS.#24 Jackson TN Underdogs
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Javon Bess, Nick Ward (Michigan St.)Jaylen Barford
(Arkansas, TBT legend)
Khalil Iverson,
Trevon Hughes (Wisco)
Courtney Pigram
(ETSU Standout)
Big X’s depth is too much for Barford and Pigram, but this is game will be close as hell.
#10 Playing For Jimmy V.VS.#23 Herd That
Notable PlayersNotable Players
NBA Coffee Sippers
Josh Perkins (Zaga),
Haywood Highsmith
Marshall alums including Jon Elmore, CJ Burks
UCF Big Men
Chad Brown, AJ Davis
Zach Smith (Texas Tech), Jacorey Williams
(Middle Tenn)
Heart says the Marshall team, but my head says Jimmy V in a possible blowout.
#11 Team HinesVS.#22 Sideline Cancer
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Ethan Happ (Wisco),
Gilbert Brown (Pitt),
Delroy James (URI)
Jamal Artis (Pitt),
Maurice Creek

(GW via IU)
Nick Calathes (UF), Brandon Paul (Illini),
AJ Slaughter (WKU)
Andrew Fitzgerald (Oklahoma),
Dion Wright (Bonnies)
Team Hines by double digits. They’re a favorite in this field.
#12 Brotherly LoveVS.#21 Stillwater Stars
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Temple alums including Khalif Wyatt and
Ramone Moore
Markel Brown, Phil Forte, and LeBryan Nash
(aka dudes who ran
with Marcus Smart)
Penn St. standout
D.J. Newbill
Tyshawn Taylor and
Nadir Tharpe join as

ringers from KU
Upset due to poor seeding. The Cowboy/Jayhawk evil duo wins by 6-12 pts.
#13 Team CP3VS.#20 Mid-American Unity
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Kennedy Meeks,
PJ Hairston (UNC)
Alums from mediocre. forgettable MAC teams
Dez Wells (Maryland)Marcus Hall (Colorado)
I’d pick anyone over this MAC team. They shouldn’t be in the field. The Tennessee alumni team with Wayne Chism, Duke Crews, Ron Slay, Jajuan Smith, Tyler Smith, and Melvin Goins got hosed. I’m really bitter about this. CP3’s crew wins in a rout.
#14 HEARTFIREVS.#19 Men of Mackey
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Homer Drew coaches Baylor’s Quincy Miller,
Ish Wainwright, & the insiring Isaiah Austin
Jon Octeus + the goofiest looking Purdue alumni
on this planet
Zona G Mark Lyons joins
Sparty alums Brandon Wood, Branden Dawson
Goofs incldue Ryan Cline, Isaac Haas,
Evan Boudreaux
I can’t pick against this collection of Purdue legends. This game is 50/50 at best.
#15 Armored AthleteVS.#18 Power of the Paw
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Standouts include Dominique Jones (USF) Terico White (Ole Miss), Michael Ojo (FSU)Sneaky solid recent Clemson alums Gabe DeVoe, Marquise Reed,
and Elijah Thomas
Arkansas alums Courtney Fortson, Coty ClarkeRinger is Mizzou’s Jakeenan Gant
Clemson has been a decent hoops program for a couple years under Brad Brownell. These recent graduates of his program will not be an easy out for unpolished squads.
#16 House of PaignVS.#17 War Tampa
Notable PlayersNotable Players
Recent Illini alums led by LeRon Black, Andres Feliz, and Michael FinkeBryce Brown headlines crew of Auburn alums
Best ringers by far:
Matt Mooney (Texas Tech), Mike Daum (SD St.)
Dope ringer tandem:
Fletcher McGee (Wofford),

Walter Hodge (UF)
Unreal matchup. Mooney is my man crush and he makes the difference for HOP.

PREDICTED ROUND OF 16

  • #16 House of Paign def. #1 Carmen’s Crew
  • #8 Red Scare def. #9 Big X
  • #4 Golden Eagles def. #13 Team CP3
  • #21 Stillwater Stars def. #5 Eberlein Drive
  • #19 Men of Mackey def. #3 Boheim’s Army
    • (Boheim killed a guy with this car – we don’t reward that stuff at ATrainsports.com)
  • #11 Team Hines def. #6 Challenge ALS
  • #7 Money Team def. #10 Jimmy V
  • #2 Overseas Elite def. #18 Power of the Paw

PREDICTED ELITE EIGHT

  • #16 House of Paign def.. #8 Red Scare
  • #4 Golden Eagles def. #21 Stillwater Stars
  • #11 Team Hines def. #19 Men of Mackey
  • #2 Overseas Elite def. #7 Money Team

PREDICTED FINAL FOUR AND CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

#16 HOUSE OF PAIGN DEFEATS #4 GOLDEN EAGLES

#2 OVERSEAS ELITE DEFEAT #11 TEAM HINES

PBM’S 2020 TBT CHAMPION IS…

Ezekiel Elliott is a Man Without a Country.

Last night in Dallas, my beloved St. Louis Blues stole game three from the Dallas Stars to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs. St. Louis local Pat “Big Rig” Maroon scored a beastly goal in the games closing moments. It was beautiful. The Blues are my favorite team in any sport of all-time…I love this franchise. It is because of that love that I am delaying posting a comprehensive blog about them until they do something I’ve never seen them do in almost 37 years on this Earth: make the Stanley Cup finals. And guess what, PBM disciples? It’s gonna fucking happen. You know why? Because the STL native, belly button on display, chipmunk looking-fuck better known as Zeke Elliott showed up at the game last night in a fanny pack. He showed up to root for the South Stars! Take a gander!

zeke_stars_game

Fuckin’ traitor! ATrain defended him by saying athletes do this all the time – his beloved Anthony Rizzo is from Florida and he is now a Blackhawks fan. Whoopty fuckin’ doo! Good for the guy from a state that has no ice in it! Zeke grew up in a town that literally and physically bleeds Blue…shit, the Blues even share the same colors as his damn high school. Burroughs grads (aside from Jon Hamm) are such clowns.

I got past the near guarantee of bozo-esque living from this particular JBS alumni by having Zeke on my cutthroat fantasy keeper team ever since his arrival in the league. He brought me a title. I named my dog after him. I forgave him for choosing the Fuckeyes over Mizzou. And then he goes full fanny pack and sells out the Note for the prospect of some local ad money. I guess national brands aren’t lining up with offers for a chipmunk-faced butthead who gets handsy with the ladies. Chase that car dealership spokesmen clout, Zeke. I only have this to say to you, my guy:

avon

Guess what though, Rail Riders? This really is the Blues year. Zeke’s mutant mimicking behavior sealed it. We’re going to bash his adopted Stars, and then we’re going to shit on his other adopted hometown’s team, The BJ’s, in the Cup. It’s going to happen as Big Motherfuckin’ Rig takes his place on the homegrown STL athlete Mt. Rushmore with David Freese, Stan Musial, and Ozzie Smith.

BIGRIGMOCKUP

Now hit the music!

College Recap and Sunday’s Wet the Beak.

Before we start shoutout to Coach Ed Orgeron, who fought through bad call and a hostile crowd to get LSU a gritty sec win. He brought in Joe Burrow and committed to him. Burrow has shown in wins over Miami and Auburn that he is the QB that this Uber talented roster has needed, a smart distributor. He doesn’t do too much, he plays in the system, and he gets the ball to world-class athletes who make plays. LSU now has what they have always needed to compete: Balance on Offense. Stacking the box vs LSU now carries a degree of risk that it simply didn’t a season ago. This team is fun to watch, I don’t think they can compete with a Tua led Alabama team but I can’t wait to see them try.

We went 3-3 on Saturday after Starting a promising 2-0. As usual, the alma mater let me down just like they always do. Feel free to fade any picks made on The University of Missouri Tigers. My other alma mater The University of Washington did cover (although I said they wouldn’t) to continue the streak of missing on the teams whose schools I attended. The Huskies game at least went under, so we won half our bets on that game.

We also won with Iowa State and Army. Ohio State vs TCU I watched in its entirety, although we lost by .5 a point, we should have won the bet. Ohio State missed one two-point conversion and ended the game kneeling in FG range. Thanks, Ryan Day, you know good coaches win great coaches cover. Ask Saban. Saban makes people in Alabama rich. Enough of the mediocre college game, onto the pro’s.

Games were not at all jumping off the page this week like they did last week. I’m gonna keep it a little tighter this week and just pick the best bets and a few leans, not all the games.

Chargers -7.5 @ Buffalo: I’m taking the Chargers despite this having all the makings of a Bills cover. A long road trip, west to east and a 1:00pm kickoff is usually a disaster for the West Coast team. The Chargers have no Joey Bosa and it’s the Bills home opener. I don’t care, the Bills suck…people need to realize this. The Chargers are not going 0-2 and I think if they win, they will win by 10 or more. It’s not Nathan Peterman but still, fade the Bills.

Kansas City +5.5 @ Pittsburgh: So public money is 85% on the Chiefs and the lines move is the other way? That’s usually not good for joe public and I want to make the Joe Public play on the Chiefs. The Steelers have a real home advantage and that scares me, this isn’t San Diego so this game will tell me a lot about Mahomes poise. A slow track will limit the explosive plays for KC. These teams are just to close for me not to take the points and the Chiefs. I’m sorry, I’m dumb Joe Public.

Over 49 points: Browns @ Saints: Probably another sucker bet, but I have this sneaky suspicion that the Browns are gonna score in the dome, and so is Drew Brees. The Saints are one of those teams I hate to ever bet on…so I’m actually not gonna play this and just call it a lean, not a best bet.

I like the 49ers -6 at home against Detriot. Matt Patricia had the Lions looking like shit at home, let’s see him on the road in a short week. We’ll call this a lean.

Another lean for me is towards the Colts +6 @ Washington. I want to see the Redskins beat Andrew Luck not Sam Bradford before I want to give away six points in this game. This was almost a best bet.

New England -1 @ Jacksonville: So Basically a pick’em: This is a principle play on New England and Belichick. The Jags D is scary as hell maybe the best unit I saw on Sunday, Tom Brady will find a way, and I like the Pats D to bottle up Bortles.

NY Giants +3 @ Dallas: Principle play of better team getting points, I like the Giants to win outright.

Seahawks -3 @ Chicago: Jump on this at 3 if you see it, at 3.5 I like it a lot less. Bobby Wagner is not playing for Seattle, he is a huge part of that defense, especially in pass defense in the middle of the field. This will open things up for the Bears and I say they win by 10. But at -3.5 a junk Wilson TD at the end could push your win to a loss, so find it at 3 if you can. I trust you, Mitch, you got this.